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Death in a Strange Country [Hardcover]

Donna Leon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1993
Early one morning Guido Brunetti, Commissario of the Venice Police, confronts a grisly sight when the body of a young man is fished out of a fetid Venetian canal. All the clues point to a violent mugging, but for Brunetti, robbery seems altogether too convenient a motive. Then something very incriminating is discovered in the dead man's flat - something which points to the existence of a high-level cabal - and Brunetti becomes convinced that somebody, somewhere, is taking great pains to provide a ready-made solution to the crime ...
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (Jun 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060170085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060170080
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,960,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donna Leon has lived in Venice for many years and previously lived in Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, where she worked as a teacher. Her previous novels featuring Commissario Brunetti have all been highly acclaimed; including Friends in High Places, which won the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, Through A Glass, Darkly, Suffer the Little Children, The Girl of His Dreams, and most recently, About Face.

Product Description


"Brunetti ... long ago joined the ranks of the classic fictional detectives" (Evening Standard)

"What makes Leon's work especially unnerving is the sense that corruption is a continuing process ... The characters of Brunetti and his family continue to deepen throughout the series" (The Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The second Brunetti novel from award-winning crime writer Donna Leon. There is another mystery for Brunetti to unravel when a body is found in the Venetian canals and a robbery is not quite what it seems. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thus opens Donna Leon's second Brunetti novel, building diligently on her first. The characters become deeper and the criminal landscape of Venice broader. We learn more about Brunetti's personal and professional life and learn to sympathise more with the impediments placed in his way by friend and foe alike.

I will not give details of the plot, save to say that it is credible and clever. We are kept on tenterhooks until the very last chapter, where the disappointment we had envisaged in the sight of crime not paying its proper dues is suddenly lifted through the act of a heartbroken mother.

My only complaint? The map is quite useless without a magnifying glass.

But I'm entranced enough to already be halfway through the third in the series, "The Anonymous Venetian".
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You are a stubborn devil, aren't you?" 23 Sep 2007
Donna Leon definitely caught my attention with the first book in this series, and now she has made me a fan of her wonderful work. Leon's excellence is based on three main concepts: a complex main character, an enchanting environment, and of course a well-crafted mystery. Commissario Guido Brunetti is one of the most interesting detectives I have encountered in quite some time. His personality and family life make him a character with which we can relate fairly quickly, and his uncompromising attitude towards delivering justice for those that have been wronged is one to admire. Venice is the perfect setting for this character, and allows Leon to use its canals and rich history to add mystique to the plot. And then there is the murder case, which is complex without being contrived, and keeps us interested until we find out the truth.

This novel starts at full speed, catching our interest right away, with a body floating in a canal on a quiet morning. Brunetti is soon placed in charge of the investigation and finds out that the victim is an American and that the killer was either very skilled or very lucky, since death came after a perfect stroke with a blade. When the victim is identified as a Sergeant in an army post in Vicenza, the case becomes much more complicated and Brunetti has to deal with people trying to mislead him and cover up the truth. On top of this, there is a second case, involving a robbery, which adds variety to the story and allows for the introduction of some really colorful characters.

Last time, Leon's work incorporated many aspects related to the world of Opera and classical music, and this time the canals and the way in which their currents work take center stage.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and evocative 18 Nov 2004
Some time ago I wrote in a review of an Ian Rankin book that I wasn't really into crime as a genre. Something's happened since then and it's now my regular stress-busting bit of escapism and I have to 'fess up to being a convert to low-life detective novels(when it's good anyway).
Donna Leon is certainly good - Death in a Strange County is the first of her books I've read and there is an enticingly large array of other books by her to move on to. It was a single-evening read and delivered everything it should. Guido (the Venetian policeman) is a good hero - not too macho, not too fey - a palpable person. And Venice - I was there. Leon really manages to evoke the workaday reality of the city. I was unsurprised to find out she lives there as it was every inch the city I know.
Great fun, smooth writing, good characterisation and a plausible plot. Just what you need when the winter evenings are drawing in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book one can not put down 7 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the first book in this series and this one was even better than that one. It was exciting from page 1 to page 373, the very last page.
It starts out with a body of a young, handsome American discovered at an unchristly hour in one of Venezia's canals. At first it is thought that he is a tourist that has been robbed but the stabwound says different and soon they know that he was a soldier from the American Army post in Vicenza. Brunetti runs in to silence wherever he turns. And the reader wonders how on earth this mystery is ever going to get solved. The man's commanding officer, a woman, turns out to have been his lover and soon she is dead as well. That is when Brunetti is finally starting to get some clues and the tale one gets to read is so sinister, so corrupt that one gets scared. US and Italian governments are involved and so is the mafia. It seems like the book is going to end in an unsolved case or rather a hopeless case where one can not get justice and then boom, justice is served. Do we dare to ever set our foot in Italy again???
I must read the next one in the series, the Anonymous Venetian.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Brunetti 23 Aug 2009
I am half way through reading the detective novels of Donna Leon and have had immense pleasure in doing so. The one I have just finished reading is "Death in a Strange Country" and I believe it to be the best I have read up to now. It is finely balanced between a detective novel and a completely plausible horror story. Earlier this year (2009) I had a five week artist residency in Venice and the Commisarrio Brunetti novels have enhanced that experience, having read one whilst there I subsequently bought the whole series (via Amazon of course!) The novels of Donna Leon are exceptionally arresting, a truly wonderful read,entertaining and with scarily realistic endings, highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a 'crimi'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 days ago by HK
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me interested
Another good Donna Leon story. Apart from the lovely descriptions of Venice, I like the characters and want to know what happens to them. Read more
Published 15 days ago by David Gurr
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
No Comment No Comment No Comment
Published 18 days ago by fawzigermanus
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to enjoy every last sentence
Donna Leon's books are the only crime-novels I read slowly: I want to enjoy every last sentence!
Published 29 days ago by M. Lappin
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday read
Wanted a book set in Venice to read while I was there! This did the trick, an interesting detective story set in the context of Venice, not too heavy a read so perfect for the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by StumpyB
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best...
I liked this Brunetti tale; it takes the reader into the little known territory of a US Military work and family European base, or 'home from home' for the US military. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Key Reader:
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one!
As previously written, both my husband and I are totally hooked on Donna Leon's series of Brunetti books. This is second in the series, and it's wonderful! Highly recommend...!!
Published 6 months ago by sinantim
4.0 out of 5 stars Death if a Strange Country
If you like Italy, then Donna Leone is for you. Her description brings Italy to life and she is very accurate.
Published 7 months ago by Mimma Copeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Donna Leon is such an accomplished author! Love all the books of hers read so far and intend many more. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lyngheath
5.0 out of 5 stars My latest favourite detective
There's still mystery, lots of intrigue and bit of blood and guts, but a satisfying read without too much angst.
Published 9 months ago by A. HOY
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